Project involvement

Project Leader QuMat.1-RU-2.1A / 2.2A

Quantum theory of 2D magnetism / Nonequilibrium nanomagnetism

Co-supervisor – QuMat.1-TUE-2.3C
Theory of complex magnetism

Brief research summary over last 5 years / academic profile

Mikhail Katsnelson’s work covers the whole field of condensed matter theory. His main achievements are in magnetism, strongly correlated systems and graphene. His theory of exchange interactions in molecules and crystals is now commonly used in first-principle calculations of real materials. He was one of the pioneers in electronic structure calculations with strong electron correlations taken into account. After the discovery of graphene, he became one of the world-leading experts in this field. Main current research programs:

Graphene and other two-dimensional materials

Katsnelson made essential contributions to experimental work on graphene, starting from a seminal paper (Nature 2005) where massless Dirac fermions were first discovered. Andre Geim wrote in his Nobel lecture 2010: “Our rapid progress would be impossible without Misha Katsnelson who provided us with all the theoretical help an experimentalist can only dream of”. The main achievements were the discovery of Klein tunneling (Nature Phys. 2006), the discovery of intrinsic ripples (Nature 2007; Nature Mat. 2007), and the concept of pseudomagnetic gauge fields created by deformation that lies at the basis of “strain engineering” (Phys. Rev. Lett. 2006, 2008; Nature Phys. 2010). In recent years, Katsnelson has participated in several novel top-level achievements in this field, including visualization of Berry phase in graphene (Nature 2019), permeation of hydrogen through graphene membrane (Nature 2020), single-atom-memory at the surface of black phosphorus (2018), magnon spectra of one-dimensional ferromagnets CrBr 3 and CrI 3 (Nature Electron. 2018, Nano Lett. 2020), discovery of unusually strong electron-phonon interaction in single-layer InSe (Phys. Rev. Lett. 2019) and many others.

Magnetism and strongly correlated systems

Katsnelson developed a quantitative theory of angle-resolved photoemission spectra for transition metals and of exotic Kondo effects for magnetic clusters on metallic surfaces (numerous publications in Phys. Rev. Lett.). He has also developed new techniques of “dual fermions” and “dual bosons” to treat nonlocal correlation effects (Phys. Rev. Lett. 2009; Ann. Phys. 2012; Phys. Rev. B 2014; Phys. Rev. B 2016). Applications include plasmons in strongly correlated systems (Phys. Rev. Lett. 2014), the prediction of flat band formation in 2D systems near Van Hove singularities (Phys. Rev. Lett. 2014) and rigorous theory of exchange interactions in strongly correlated systems (Phys. Rev. Lett. 2018). Other important results are a generalization of his theory of non-equilibrium exchange interactions (Ann. Phys. 2013) and a new method to calculate Dzialoshinskii – Moriya interactions (Phys. Rev. B 2010; Nature Phys. 2014). He actively collaborates with the groups of Rasing (Phys. Rev. Lett. 2012, Nature Commun. 2015), Hussey (Phys. Rev. Lett. 2016, Nature Commun. 2017, Nature Physics 2018), and Khajetoorians (Nano Lett. 2017, Nature Commun. 2018).


International visibility, activities, prizes, scholarships etc.

Mikhail Katsnelson is a full professor of theoretical physics and the head of Theory of Condensed Matter group in Radboud University, member of Executive Editorial Board of Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, and Divisional Associate Editor of the Physical Review Letters. The theoretical work of Katsnelson has an enormous impact on condensed matter physics. This has been recognized by the international community and has resulted in a large number of scientific grants and awards. The list of grants and prizes encompasses: USSR State Prize for young researchers 1988; Radboud Science Award 2010; ERC Advanced Grant 2013; ERC Synergy Grant 2019; Spinoza Award 2013; Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion; Hamburg Prize for Theoretical Physics 2016; Elected member of Academia Europaea; Elected member of Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences; Elected member of Royal Society of Sciences at Uppsala; Honorary Doctor of Uppsala University.

Publication track record

Katsnelson is since years one of the top scientists in modern condensed matter theory; for example, he was the only theoretical physicist in the Thomson-Reuter list of the ten world’s hottest researchers in 2010. Publications include 8 Science, 7 Nature, 11 Nature Physics, 2 Nature Materials, 1 Nature Electronics, 9 Nature Communications, 6 Proceeding of National Academy of Sciences USA, 76 Physical Review Letters, 10 Nano Letters, 2 reviews in Reviews of Modern Physics. The impact of his work is further clear from the number of citations his articles attract: The Google Scholar citation database lists over 110.000 citations.

Services to the Community

Katsnelson has been asked for scientific support and services on many occasions. The list of services for the scientific community includes: Member of the Executive Editorial Board of Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, from 2012; Member of the Program Board of the Lorentz Center (Leiden), 2007-2012; Editor of Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, from 2012; Divisional Associate Editor of Physical Review Letters, 2014-2020; Member of Advisory Editorial Board of Advanced Materials Interfaces, from 2013.

5 key output/publications

Two-dimensional gas of massless Dirac fermions in graphene.

K.S. Novoselov, A.K. Geim, S.V. Morozov, D. Jiang, M.I. Katsnelson, I.V. Grigorieva, S.V. Dubonos, and A.A. Firsov, Nature 438, 197 (2005)

This is a seminal paper where massless Dirac fermions in graphene were experimentally discovered which initiates “graphene boom”.

Chiral tunneling and the Klein paradox in graphene.

M.I. Katsnelson, K.S. Novoselov, and A.K. Geim, Nature Physics 2, 620 (2006)

This paper introduced the concept of chiral tunneling, the key phenomenon for the whole field of graphene electronics.

Effective Heisenberg model and exchange interactions for strongly correlated systems.
E.A. Stepanov, S. Brener, F. Krien, M. Harland, A.I. Lichtenstein, and M.I. Katsnelson, Physical Review Letters 121, 037204 (2018)

This theory of effective exchange interactions generalizes the method, suggested earlier by M. I. Katsnelson and A. I. Lichtenstein and commonly used now in electronic structure community, on the field of strongly correlated materials.

Measuring the Berry phase of graphene from wavefront dislocations in Friedel oscillations.

C. Dutreix, H. González-Herrero, I. Brihuega, M.I. Katsnelson, C. Chapelier, and V.T. Renard, Nature 574, 219 (2019)

This is a direct visualization of the key concept of contemporary quantum physics, Berry phase, by scanning probe microscopy of graphene with hydrogen adatoms. The corresponding theory was developed by C. Dutreix and M. I. Katsnelson.

Self-induced spin glass state in elemental and crystalline neodymium.
U. Kamber, A. Bergman, A. Eich, D. Iusan, M. Steinbrecher, N. Hauptmann, L. Nordström, M.I. Katsnelson, D. Wegner,
O. Eriksson, and A.A. Khajetoorians, Science 368, eaay6757 (2020)

This is experimental discovery and a detailed theoretical description of a novel magnetic state, self-induced spin glass, theoretically predicted by M. I. Katsnelson and A. Principi in 2016.

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